From the Courts
July 30, 2010
NDP lawyers respond to Boundaries Commission

Lawyers who filed an injunction in a bid to prevent publication of the Constituency Boundaries Report signed on July 9, 2010,{{more}} yesterday responded to submissions tabled by attorneys representing the Boundaries Commission.

The legal battle, which is between the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Unity Labour Party (ULP) government commenced on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, in chambers before Justice Gertel Thom. However, the two days in which the hearing was expected to to be heard stretched further into the week as a result of lengthy arguments on both sides.

Representing the Boundaries Commission are Dominican lawyer Anthony Astaphan S.C., former St Lucian Prime Minister and lawyer Kenny Anthony, Grahame Bollers and Richard Williams.

Lawyers Nicole Sylvester and Kay-Bacchus Browne, who represent the NDP, presented their case on Tuesday, which was followed by the respondents address on Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Parliament in March passed legislation increasing the number of constituencies from 15 to 17 and the Boundaries Commission, in keeping with the constitution, decides where the boundaries for the constituencies should be.

On Wednesday, Bacchus-Browne declined to comment on the matter as it was still before the court. She, however, noted that United Kingdom (UK) based Senior Counsel, Shariz Aziz has joined the legal team for the applicants.

Bacchus-Browne added that the applicants made an application for the Attorney General to be removed from the matter, which was not objected to by the respondents. “…because we weren’t claiming anything against the AG, we thought there was no need to have her, we only are going against the Boundaries Commission,” Bacchus-Browne noted.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace on Sunday, July 11, 2010, said that former Supervisor of Elections, Selwyn Jones, who represents the NDP on the Commission, did not sign the report on July 9, 2010, as the Commission rejected all the alternative proposals that were put forward.

The Commission is chaired by the Aldric Williams, while the ULP is represented by Arthur Williams. (KW)